Special Palestine Issue: End All Aid to Apartheid Israel, For a Democratic Secular Palestine
IN THIS SPECIAL DOSSIER:
• Presentation: End All Aid to Apartheid Israel, For a Democratic Secular Palestine – by Mya Shone
• Join with us to relaunch the Campaign to End All Aid to Apartheid Israel, For a Democratic and Secular Palestine! – Statement published in the March 13, 1988 issue of the New York Times and partial list of U.S. and international signers
• Sixty Arab and Jewish Activists Send Message to “Israeli Jewish Public Opinion”: Join us to build a secular and democratic state for us all” — Excerpts from statement published in the May 10, 2023, issue of Workers Tribune (France)
• The Nakba of May 1948 – message sent by Ahmed Abu Artema, organizer of the Great March of Return, reprinted from the May 10, 2023, issue of Workers Tribune (France)
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Presentation: End All Aid to Apartheid Israel, For a Democratic Secular Palestine
By Mya Shone
“The Time Has Come: End All Aid to Apartheid Israel” blared the headline of a statement which first appeared March 13, 1988, in The New York Times. Signed by notable figures in the United States and internationally, it launched a campaign to both End All Aid to Apartheid Israel and For a Democratic Secular Palestine.
Now, 35 years later – on the 75th anniversary of the Nakba – we relaunch this seminal campaign. “We cannot stand silently by,” we said as the rebellion of the Palestinian people unfolded during the first Intifada, soon after the December 21, 1987, general strike that engulfed every Palestinian community under Israeli rule.
We could not stand on the sidelines as Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin ordered the use of tanks and armored-personnel-carriers against an unarmed population, conducted house-to-house searches, seized wounded from their hospital beds and sealed off cities, town, villages, and the refugee camps of the West Bank and Gaza so that food, water, and medicine could not reach the Palestinian population.
We pointed the finger not only at the Zionist state but at the U.S. government. “Apartheid Israel cannot exist,” we stated sharply, “without the U.S. Treasury.” “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” notes the Congressional Research Service, an arm of the U.S. Congress. Almost every dollar of this U.S. taxpayer funding is for weapons of destruction. As of March 1, 2023, the United States has provided Israel $158 billion in military assistance and missile defense funding. [https://sgp.fas.org/crs/mideast/RL33222.pdf]
There is no other conclusion: Palestinian blood has been and remains evermore on the hands of the U.S. government — not only for the dispossession of Palestinians with the partition of Palestine, but for the strategic funding of Israeli forces for each and every war against the Palestinians and other peoples of the Middle East.
Let us look at just a few specifics:
Two years ago, over 11 days in May, (May 11-22, 2021) the Israeli Defense Forces ground and air forces conducted a total of 1,500 strikes on Gaza, injuring 1,900 Palestinians, killing at least 254, and laying waste once again to homes, hospitals, and infrastructure.
The “principal killer” reported Forbes, May 26, 2021, “was Israeli air power, which surged up to 160 sorties in a single operation at its peak. The mainstay of the bombardment,” please note, “were U.S.-built short range F-16 jet fighters. … [T]hese jets can rain precision-guided bombs (GBU-39) and missiles with impunity flying at altitudes well beyond the reach of the few man-portable anti-aircraft missiles Hamas possesses.”
“However,” continues Forbes, “most of the weapons dropped were gravity bombs (Mark 82, 83, and 84) fitted with JDAM guidance kits (GBU-38, GBU-32 and GBU-31 respectively) giving the weapon capability to hit a designated GPS coordinate.”
It should come as no surprise why Forbes business news is tracking the weaponry used by the Zionist state in its assault on the Palestinian people. The F-16 Fighting Falcon as well as the F-15 Eagle also used by the I.D.F. are manufactured by the U.S. military-industrial complex: The F-16 by General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin and the F-15 by McDonnell Douglas.
The bombs and guidance kits are U.S.-made as well. The gravity bombs by General Dynamics and the JDAM guidance kits by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.
The ongoing assaults on Gaza are not the first time that Israel relied upon U.S.-funded and -supplied weapons. In fact, the Israeli Air Force tested the “combat success” of the F-16 deploying it against Syrian aircraft on April 28, 1981 in the Bekka Valley and again against Syrian aircraft in June 1982 when Israel launched a full-scale assault against Lebanon.
We can say with full confidence that Lebanon became a laboratory for the lethal effectiveness of U.S.-made weapons: F-15 and F-16 war planes dropping phosphorus, magnesium, and large concussion bombs during Israel’s two-month unrelenting carpet bombing of Beirut as well as in the many raids throughout southern Lebanon, especially the 20-day assault from the air and sea against Ain El-Helweh that leveled the largest Palestinian refugee camp. Nor can we leave out the myriad U.S. manufactured cluster bombs with ribbons flowing such that children were blown apart when they reached out for them.
We’ll stop here: the point is made. As we stated in the 1988 appeal, “Since 1948, U.S. tax money has financed Israel, a state built on expulsion, dispossession, and subjugation. The American people have no interest in subsidizing the world’s fourth largest military power, or the torment of the Palestinian people. End all aid now!”
Evermore today, the clarion call remains: End all aid now! There is absolutely no rationale for a cent of U.S. taxpayer money to fund the Apartheid state of Israel and its subjection of the Palestinian people.
All too often, we are asked How is this to end? Today, as in 1987, we say there is only one way way forward: a democratic and secular Palestine with the right of return for all Palestinian refugees in the imposed diaspora. It is the solution that was presented initially by the Palestinian people themselves.
As Ralph Schoenman wrote in The Hidden History of Zionism:
“In 1968, 20 years after the colonial-settler state of Israel was established, the Palestinian resistance movement formulated its demand for self-determination in the call for the replacement of the Israeli state with an independent, unitary Palestine.
“The majority wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O.), Fatah, set forth the program for the establishment of a ‘democratic, secular Palestine.’ This slogan called for the dismantling of the Zionist Israeli state and the establishment of a new state in Palestine in which Jews, Christians, and Arabs (Muslims, Christians, and other) would live together as equals without discrimination.
“What was notable about this brave proposal was that (1) it categorically rejected any accommodation with or recognition of the Zionist state; and (2) it rejected the proposal for a Palestinian “mini-state” on the West Bank and Gaza.
“P.L.O. Chairman Yasir Arafat described his proposal as follows in a remarkable biography written by journalist Alan Hart:
“’We were saying ‘no’ to the Zionist state, but we were saying ‘yes’ to the Jewish people of Palestine. To them we were saying. ‘You are welcome to live in our land, but on one condition — You must be prepared to live among us as equals, not as dominators.’”
The articulation of a democratic secular Palestine as expressed by the then-Palestinian resistance is a basic democratic demand. Whether in Kenya or Ghana, Northern Rhodesia or Southern Rhodesia, Algeria, or South Africa, no movement for self-determination has ever accepted the legitimacy of a racially exclusive state on its land.
We should have no illusions about the Zionists. Even as the so-called Madrid “peace” talks were underway in 1991, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir let the cat out of the bag about the false hope of a two-state solution when he declared in an interview with the Los Angeles Times (Nov. 24, 1991):
“There has never been a Palestinian country in the Middle East. Therefore, we have never occupied territories that do not belong to us. … The issue is to whom does this land belong. The moment you understand this there will be no talk about ‘settlements.’”
Today, more and more Israeli Jews are being confronted with the dead-end of the Zionist vision. They, themselves, are engaged in a mass-struggle for what they consider to be their democratic rights — an oxymoron as long as rights are for Jews only and the Apartheid state of Israel remains intact. They are confronted with the Biblical-religious vision of an exclusively Jewish state. Whether their struggle evolves into common cause with the Palestinian people is still to be seen.
But as you see from the declaration we publish below, within Israeli and beyond, awareness is growing that it is only with a call for a democratic and secular society shaped by a constituent assembly that a passion for life without oppression and a vision of a country shorn of racist domination can be realized. In the declaration issued only days ago titled, “Sixty Arab and Jewish Activists Send Message to ‘Israeli Jewish Public Opinion: Join us to build a secular and democratic state for us all”, one can read:
“In the name of the crimes against Jews, it is Zionism that has justified its own crimes, the barbarity of its militias and the atrocities of its state, the occupation of the land and the cleansing of its people. It is Zionism, for over a century now, that has stood in the way of our dreams, both yours and ours and all humans’, of justice, of democracy, of equality and of good. …
“The solution, you wonder? The solution begins with the end of this vision of supremacy and oppression, and the erection in its stead of this land’s first plural, democratic state, a régime of peace and justice for all, including the Palestinian refugees returning to their homes from which they were uprooted. …
“May you … choose to join us to build a country of us all, under the values of a secular, democratic state, the values of peace and justice and equality – a light unto Humankind, shining towards a better world that we may help build.”
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Join with Us to Relaunch the Campaign to End All Aid to Apartheid Israel, For a Democratic and Secular Palestine!
[The following is the reprinted text of a statement which first appeared in the March 13, 1988, issue of the New York Times. The ad was placed by the Campaign to End All Aid to Israel/For a Democratic Secular Palestine. The campaign’s executive director was Ralph Schoenman. Its coordinator was Mya Shone. The signatories had organizations and titles listed for identification purposes only.]
The Time Has Come:
End All Aid to Apartheid Israel
We cannot stand silently by as we watch young men and old, women and children murdered daily in cold blood – shot at point-blank range, savagely beaten unto death with heavy staves, their heads, hands, and limbs smashed.
We cannot permit a ruthless state to poison people with toxic gas and bury young men alive.
We shall never accept an entire people denied the elementary democratic and human rights we insist upon for ourselves. Were we subjected to a brutal occupation, daily humiliation, military rule, mass imprisonment, and institutionalized torture, we too would rise up in revolt.
The rebellion of the Palestinian people has been a long time coming. Twenty years of occupation are but one dimension of their tragedy. They were driven from their original homes, villages, and land by sustained massacre, condemned to miserable camps, subjected in a far-flung Diaspora to renewed slaughter, saturation bombing, and unending persecution.
The tyranny suffered in the West Bank in Gaza is but the little continuation of how all of Palestine was colonized. Between the time of the partition of Palestine in 1947 and the formation of Israel, Zionists militia seized 75% of the land and drove out 800,000 Palestinians through a series of massacres.
When the state of Israel was declared, there were 475 Palestinian cities, towns, and villages. Of these, 385 were razed to the ground – disappearing from the map. The 90 remaining were denuded of land, confiscated without compensation.
Today the Jewish National Fund administers 93% of the land of Israel. To live on land, lease it, sharecrop, or work on it, one must establish generations of maternal Jewish descent.
If, in any country, people had to prove they did not have generations of maternal Jewish descent in order to enjoy elementary rights, no one would mistake the quintessentially racist character of such a state.
Israel is an Apartheid state, founded on pillage and predicated on exclusivity. Rights flow from ethnic and religious identity.
How is this to end?
There are over 5 million settlers of European origin in South Africa. The Afrikaaner population and those of British descent have lived in South Africa for many generations. Yet, very few people, let alone those purporting to be advocates of self-determination for Blacks in South Africa, propose two states – a European white state with guaranteed security abutting a demilitarized, subordinate African state.
A dependent Bantustan alongside an Apartheid state is a mockery of self-determination – whether in South Africa, colonial Rhodesia, and Algeria – or Apartheid Israel.
n Israel, no less than in South Africa, minimum justice requires dismantling the Apartheid state and replacing it with a democratic secular Palestine, where Jews and Arabs, Christians and Muslims, live together with equal rights and opportunities.
Apartheid Israel cannot exist without the U.S. Treasury. Since 1948, $92 billion of U.S. tax money – $6 billion in 1987 alone — have financed Israel, a state built on expulsion, dispossession, and subjugation. The American people have no interest in subsidizing the world’s fourth largest military power, or the torment of the Palestinian people. End all aid now!
The response to four decades of outrageous tyranny exists – in the stone-throwing children of Jabaliya, the Beach Camp, Balata, and Dheisheh. It is echoed in those Israeli Jews who resist the oppression of others.
Theirs is their struggle, slingshots in hand, of David against Goliath.
Theirs is the passion for a life without oppression.
Theirs is the vision of a country shorn of racist domination.
Palestinians and Jews, free at last from discrimination and injustice, will forge lasting peace only in a democratic and secular society where elementary rights are accorded to all.
Extend your hand to the heroic people of Palestine.
Support the Campaign to End All Aid to a Apartheid Israel.
Join the worldwide call for a democratic and secular Palestine.
[Follows a sample of signers of the above statement from the United States and internationally.]
Partial List of U.S. Signers:
Samir Abed-Rabbo, publisher, Amana Press – – Phillip Agee – – George Barghought, Arab American Association – – Rabbi Elmer Berger – – Prof. Carl Boggs, U.S.C. – – Kay Boyle – – Elombe Brath, Chair, Patrice Lumumba Coalition – – Elaine Brown – – Cynthia Burke, Pres., Transportation Communications Union, 1310 – – Nick Castle, film director – – Michael Cowan, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild – – Prof. Mike Davis, U.C.L.A. – – Rev. Robert N. Davis, Grace Episcopal Church, Utica, N.Y. – – Prof. John Edmond, M.I.T. – – Fouzi El-Asmar, author – – Lawrence Ferlinghetti – – James Marston Fitch, Prof. Emeritus, Columbia University – – Donald Freed, playwright – – Prof. Mario T. Garcia, Chair, Chicano Studies Dept., U.C.S.B. – – John Geiger, CUNY Physicians for Human Rights – – John George, Supervisor, Alameda County – – Jim Guyette, former Pres. Local P-9, Austin, Minn. – – Jerry Hall, Pres. SEIU 535, Los Angeles – – Dr. Muhammed Hallaj, Editor, Palestine Perspectives – – Nathan Hare, sociologist/psychologist – – James Haughton, Director, Harlem Fight Back – – Dr. Will L. Herzfeld, Pastor, Bethlehem Lutheran Church – – Ruth Hubbard, Harvard University – – Clyde Johnson, Pres. Black Employees Assn., Los Angeles – – Prof. Mujid Kazimi, M.I.T. – – Morris Kight, Gay & Lesbian Concerns – – Ron Kovic, peace activist – – William M. Kunstler, Attorney – – Mark Lane, Attorney – – Bill Leumer, President, IAM Local 565 – – Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal, author – – Chokwe Lumumba, National Conference of Black Lawyers – – Victor Marchetti, Editor, New American Perspectives – – Ralph McGehee, author, “Deadly Deceits” – – Ann E. Menasche, attorney – – Jessica Mitford – – Abbas Mohammed, Palestine Solidarity Committee – – Lucetta Mowry, Prof. Emeritus, Wellesley College – – J.B. Neilands, Prof. U.C. Berkeley – – Pat Norman, Co-chair 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights – – George Novak, Author – – Earl Ofari, author – – Prof. Michael Parenti, Political scientist – – Dr. Linus Pauling, Nobel Laureate, Chemistry, Peace – – Prof. Gerard Pigeon, Chair, Black Studies Dept., U.C.S.B. – – William Randolph, All African People’s Revolutionary Party – – Wilson Riles, Jr., Oakland City Council – – The Very Rev. Hanna S. Sakkab, Arch. Priest, Orthodox Church, Syracuse, N.Y. – – Mustafa Siam, Chair, United American-Arab Congress – – Rev. Donald L. Smith, Synod of Southern CA & Hawaii – – Kwame Touré, formerly Stokely Carmichael – – Gore Vidal – – Kurt Vonnegut – – Alice Walker, author, poet – – Robert F. Williams, Monroe Civil Rights Defendant – – Louis Wolf, Covert Action Information Bulletin – – Dr. Tony Wolf, Rev. Presbyterian Church, Irvine, CA – – Faith Zeady, Pres., Arab American University Graduates – – John J. Zogby, Americans for Middle East Peace –
Partial List of Countries and International Signers
Brazil – – Regis de Castro Andrade, Director, Center for Contemporary Studies – – Florestan Fernandez, National Deputy – – Professor Paolo Freire, author, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” – – Canada: – – Najib Farah, Info Director, Quebec Palestine Association – – Professor Pierre Lacasse, President, Quebec Palestine Association – – Barry Weisleder, President, Ontario Public Services Employees Union Local 595 – – France: – – Jean-Pierre Barrois, Linguist – – Pierre Broué, author & Dir. Leon Trostsky Institute – – Maitre Elaine Rubenstein Carrera – – Prof. François Guerin – – Prof. Paul Milliez, Honory Dean, Broussais, Medical School – – Maitre Helene Rubenstein Carrera, Attorney – – Daniel Seldjouk, Journalist – – Great Britain: – – Ken Cameron, General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union – – Tamara Deutscher – – Jake Eccleston, Depty. General Secretary, National Union of Journalists – – Baruch Hirson, Historian – – Quintin Hoare, author – – Hillel Tickin, Editor Critique and lecturer. University of Glasgow – – Northern Ireland: – – Gerry Adams, MP President, Sinn Fein – – Bernadette Devlin, McCalisky – – Israel: – – Merav Devir, Committee for the Freedom of Expression of Palestinians and Israelis – – Akiva Orr, Author – – Osnat Ron, “Return” – – Shimon Tazbar, Playwright – – World Organization of Jews from Islamic Countries – – Peru: – – Senator Rolando Breña Pantoja – – Senator Javier Diez-Canseco – – Senator Genaro Ledesma, President FOCEP – – Senator Andres Luna Vargas – – Moises Palomino, President, National Miners and Metalworkers Federation – – Enrique Rodriguez, General Secretary, National Teachers Federation – – Juan Rojas Vargas, President, National Peasants Association – – Yehude Simon, National Deputy, President, ANP – – Spain: – – Frances Casares, Deputy, Catalonian Parliament – – Justo Fernandez, General Secretary, Bank Workers Union, UGT – – Peré Mayor, Deputy, Valencia – – Blas Ortega, President, Association of Young Lawyers – – Jose Antonio Pallin, President, National Human Rights Association – – Jaume Soler, Mayor of Arbucias, Leader of La Crida – – Ramon Terrades, President, Metalworkers Committee, UGT, Catalonia – – Switzerland – – Eric Decarro, President, Federation of Trade Unions, Geneva – – John Ziegler, federal Deputy – – Venezuela – – Moises Moleiro, National Deputy – –
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(Barbed wire separates Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem in May 1948)
Sixty Arab and Jewish Activists Send Message to “Israeli Jewish Public Opinion”: Join us to build a secular and democratic state for us all”
To Our Other
In the name of the crimes against Jews, it is Zionism that has justified its own crimes, the barbarity of its militias and the atrocities of its state, the occupation of the land and the cleansing of its people. It is Zionism, for over a century now, that has stood in the way of our dreams, both yours and ours and all humans’, of justice, of democracy, of equality and of good.
It is Zionism that has stood in the way of life, common life, based on freedom and fairness. Instead, it has yielded violence, trading roles with regional powers that share its thirst for domination, and have shared your sword against forces of peace, democracy and justice.
The solution, you wonder? The solution begins with the end of this vision of supremacy and oppression, and the erection in its stead of this land’s first plural, democratic state, a régime of peace and justice for all, including the Palestinian refugees returning to their homes from which they were uprooted.
It begins with your abandoning the delusion that you may come and cleanse yourself of us, kill us, replace us, and claim to be Us. May you, rather, follow the example of those who have preceded you in coming to our land and who have come to shape us; may you choose to join us to build a country of us all, under the values of a secular, democratic state, the values of peace and justice and equality – a light unto Humankind, shining towards a better world that we may help build.
This is a message to You, and to Us. Is it a cry in the wilderness, an empty cry interrupted by more violence, to despots’ delight; or is it a trumpet to the end of tyranny and bigotry, to the end of darkness, and the beacon of another world? —The choice is in our hands, Ours, and Yours.
This land, we believe, will welcome those who have come in peace, in harmony, in love, mirroring the beauty of its forests, its water, and its soil; and will grant its name to those who will to be entwined with it. Yet it will vomit out, as it oft has, those who choose the path of darkness, and who will wither away.
Yousif Faker Al Deen; Yoav Haïfawi; Naji El Khatib; Touber Tirtza; Qlsaadi Maahmud; Jonathan Pollak; Eilabouni Nadia; Albunni Akram; Salto Mansour; Haqash Ebrahim; Fathi Rasheed; Rasheed Saleem; Sulaiman Hosni Ahmad; Dib Saaid; Alhj Emad; Haim-Bar Yoram; Shuraih Asmahan; Makieh Adan; Nahar Hazem; Atassi Nashan; Almamlouli Rimon; Moustafa Wali; Habsha Najih; Abdullah Zakaria; Khalel Khalel; Ali Sara; Anabtaoui Marwan; Hawash Zaher; Amin Adnan; Khuzam Majmoud; Jalbout Mahmoud; Hameed Yassen; Ayas Rahman-Abdel; Kouch Omar; Dayoub Fadi; Mihemed Zardacht; Darzish Haji Mohammad; Syoufi Mutasem; Shammas Michal; Hossein Khalil; Ossi Hosheng; Hassan Wassim; Sakal Al Fadel; Berro Mohamed; Subeh Ahmad; Ramadan Mahmoud; Anne Vanesse; Pavlovsky Angèle; Silvana Rabinovitch; Mohammad Al Helu; Khaled Darwisch; Kassabry Rachel; Abdelhamid Muhanad; Ali Lina; Sara Faiz; Rettig Béatrice; Alraii Habib; Jouhar Bassam; Khalil Nibal.
Supporting the appeal: Yossef Mekyton; Christoph Bugel; Iris Bar
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The Nakba of May 1948
(reprinted from May 10, 2023, issue of Workers Tribune, France)
In a message sent to us, Ahmed Abu Artema, organizer of the Great March of Return*, recalls:
“This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Nakba. … In that year, Zionist gangs committed horrific massacres, killing thousands of Palestinians, destroying hundreds of villages and forcibly displacing more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. The Nakba is irrefutable proof of the colonial and aggressive nature of the State of Israel. What is known in Israel as “Independence Day” is nothing more than the memory of the uprooting of the Palestinian people from their land.”
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations (UN), with the support of the United States, Britain and the USSR led by Stalin, approved Resolution 181 to partition Palestine. The former British colony would be divided into a “Jewish state” and an “Arab state”, the latter never having been created.
In the months that followed, Zionist militias went into action. Israeli historian Ilan Pappé writes:
“Nearly 800,000 people – more than half of the indigenous population of Palestine – had been uprooted, 531 villages destroyed, 11 neighborhoods emptied of their inhabitants. The plan decided on March 10, 1948 … was a clear-cut case of that ‘ethnic cleansing’ which today’s international law considers a crime against humanity.” (Ilan Pappé, (The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2008). — D. F.
* Demonstrations for the right of return of Palestinian refugees that took place every Friday in Gaza in 2018 and 2019.